Consistency to boost productivity

Why a style guide?

Two words: efficiency, productivity.

Especially for external communications, but also large-scale internal messages, consistency in tone, style and terminology is key, not only to the quality of the final product, but to how efficiently you can produce it.

If different contributors to a text are writing to different standards, it can create the impression that the organisation doesn’t know what voice it wants to speak in. And fixing that can take a lot of time and resources.

There are easy formal decisions, such as which on spelling to use, British or American. But then there are choices about more subjective elements, such as tone of voice. Will you address the reader directly? Will you write in the first person? What about the use of contractions?

If all or most of these decisions have been made, it can simply be a matter of making sure they are implemented. But if standards are out of date, or if none have been established, a style guide may be needed.

Check out the samples page to view two style guides I’ve authored—one for KPMG, the other for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Training in standards or in how to write well in English

Because I have a background in teaching writing, I can both produce a style guide tailored to the needs of your business, and train staff in implementing the new standards.

The more capable your subject-matter experts are of producing high-quality content in English on their own, the more efficiently your business will be able to get it from initial draft to final product. To that end, I can also train staff members, individually or in a classroom setting, in the do’s and don’ts of drafting in English. The less you have to do to declutter your content, the better.